Shakespeares Sister by Virginia Woolf.


Woolf argues that women position in the society was prejudiced, and they lacked the importance that their male counterparts, including brothers, had. The woman was not allowed to make important decisions even concerning her life. For instance, besides being denied a chance for education, a woman was supposed to get married as early as even 13 years and to have children. The woman was not allowed even to make a choice for a husband, and the parents thus arranged the marriages without any consent from the girl. In marriage, the woman was considered the property of the man and owned nothing. In her argument, the main cause of this prejudice was the material poverty of the woman in history. Money is considered as the primary element that prevented the woman in history to have her “own room”. She depicts from this explanation that intellectual and social freedom is dependent upon the ability to acquire material possession. In the 19th century, when Woolf wrote her essay, the woman’s gender roles and marital status were the main determinants of her standing in the society. The society at the time still demanded ultimate submission of the woman to the husband, and they were denied the power to make any decision. These ‘injustices’ were happening in the light of the notion that a woman was man’s property. It was, therefore, improper for a property to have any power over even itself. This perspective is comparable to the concept of conspicuous consumption in history, depicted by Christine Page in 1992.

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